|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
From the title I thought I was going to read a node about the absurd growth of the Perl Standard Library. The smile slid from my face when I realized this is actually a node about not preaching the power of CPAN every day.
Actually, maybe it's just me but I don't think the perl standard library is a) very standard, or b) very comprehensive.
Re: a) - please link me to the description of the Perl Standard Library. I'm not being flippant - it definitely seems like a good thing, I just don't know where it is. ActiveState for Windows is different from ActiveState for Solaris is different (obviously) from the Sun distribution which is different from the distribution you build yourself from source which, of course, is different from the Windows distribution that you could build yourself.
Re: b) - The Standard Library (which I concede must be out there somewhere) seems to be missing some basic internet functionality. I'm not talking about the ActiveState distribution. Seems like LWP::Simple ought to be standard but is not (from my solaris builds, anyhow). XMLRPC or SOAP ought to be. For crying out loud, even just XML::Simple or XML::Parser (which, again, in my experience has not been part of the "standard" distribution).
Finally, in general, a lot of the responses in this thread seem to apply to a local/single distribution. In a corporate environment, adding modules (even if the basic process of building the module is no problem) can be a challenge administratively, logistically, and networkily.
My mileage may vary, but that's what I've been getting recently!